Chad calm after France threatens to intervene to protect gov’t; CIA admits to using waterboarding in 3 interrogations; 24 states vote in primaries…

5 February :: Quiet in Chad capital N’Djamena, after France announces it will intervene to protect Déby gov’t, rebels pull back; at least one Darfur rebel group also said it would fight to protect Déby’s gov’t, as it considers Déby an ally in its fight against the Sudan regime of Omar al-Bashir… CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress today that his agency had used “waterboarding” in interrogations with 3 different suspects, but that the technique had not been used for 5 years; the simulated drowning technique is illegal according to several US military codes, and Congress is working to pass an outright ban; Reuters reports “Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and judiciary committee member, demanded that Attorney General Michael Mukasey investigate the CIA waterboarding and vowed to delay the nomination for Mukasey’s deputy until the attorney general responds to that and other issues”; Justice is already investigating the destruction of evidence related to these interrogations, and investigators have authority to look into related criminal activity… 24 states to hold primaries, caucuses, in the largest single day of presidential primary voting in US history; Democrats expected to draw comparable numbers of convention delegates, while GOP looks to have clear frontrunner after Super Tuesday voting… US Congress to question Defense Dept. officials on war costs, demand more thorough, precise cost projections, as Democrat-controlled Congress organizes attack on Bush’s $3.1 trillion spending plan; Defense Secretary Gates says the $515 billion Pentagon request is well thought out, what is needed to keep America safe, while many in both parties in Congress remain skeptical that money is being well spent in Iraq conflict… US Navy lawyer defending Canadian accused of aiding al-Qaeda says then 15-year old client was “a victim of al Qaeda, not a member of al Qaeda”, that international law treats all child soldiers as involuntary victims of war, while prosecution argued that the legislation governing the Guantánamo special tribunals does not distinguish between adult and child soldiers, that Congress would have made the distinction, because it knew Khadr could face charges; there is no ruling as yet on the request… Mother of pop star Britney Spears has filed injunction against her daughter’s manager, saying he drugged her daughter in effort to take control of her life, assets; Lynne Spears said in sworn statement that Lutfi stole her daughter’s phone chargers, slipped drugs into her food, yelled and dominated her, and tried to cut contact from outside influences, and described the following scene: “She cleaned the house. She changed her clothes many times. She also changed her dogs’ clothes many times. Britney spoke to me in a tone and with the level of understanding of a very young girl”…

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